No barriers for art

Written by Garima Pant | Updated: Oct 12 2008, 05:53am hrs
For the 40 young artists participating in the Gen Next III, the annual art show of Aakriti Art Gallery in Kolkata, it was an experience with a difference. For it is not often when Indian artists get an opportunity to share space with foreign artists, 11 to be specific in this exhibition. Unperturbed by the language barrier, it was art that brought them together.

Conceived with the aim to promote young and upcoming artists, the third leg of the annual art show received 800 entries. It was tough to pick and choose artists, said Vikram Bachhawat, Director, Aakriti Art Gallery and Emami Chisel Art. He feels that the coming few years will be the best time for Indian art. The next three years will see Indian art grow by almost 300%. With people losing money and faith in other forms of investments, this is the best time to invest in art and expect good returns, said Bachhawat.

Veteran artist Jogen Chowdhury welcomed the platform provided to these upcoming artists by organising such an event. Shows like these help boost the morale of upcoming artists, adds Chowdhury.

Artist Manish Pushkale appreciated the idea behind the Gen Next series. It is this concept of displaying art works by young artists that makes this exhibition different. It also gives me an opportunity to interact with these young artists and get to know about their work, said Pushkale. He added about the changing concept of an art camp and how it was turning out to be more of a leisure activity.

Dhaka-based Ashraful Hasan, a postgraduate in fine arts from the University of Chittagong, who is showing his works for the first time in India, feels monetary gains are secondary for him. I want to express my true feelings through my work without having any monetary expectations from it as this can affect my creativity, said Hasan. Mathew Tom, a contemporary artist from Florida, was excited with the response for his works in India. The art scenario in India looks very different from what it is in the US. The versatility I see here is not seen in my country and one can draw inspiration from everyday things in India, said Tom.

Apart from the display of select works, another added attraction was the art camp that was organised at the Emami Chisel Art auction house where the participating artists gave the audience a live display of their talents. The works will be auctioned by the gallery later.